Businesses have turned away from air travel to a major UK rail route after the train operator introduced free wireless internet access, says National Express East Coast railway.
Three times as many customers are now using Wi-Fi when travelling on National Express East Coast railway since the company introduced a free service.
The company made Wi-Fi free to all customers when it took over from GNER to run the route, from London to Edinburgh, Newcastle, and Yorkshire in December 2007. It was previously only complimentary in First Class, and cost £4.95 an hour in standard.
The number of people now using the service has increased from 30,000 a month to more than 100,000 in January. The company said business customers that would normally travel by air are now using the trains.
"Anecdotally, major employers along the East Coast route tell us that the addition of Wi-Fi is another reason for them to switch from air to rail, as it is much easier for their employees to stay in touch and keep working while on the move," said Alan Hyde, head of communications at National Express East Coast.